The (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal, just days after the Freedom Foundation opened its new Salem branch office and announced it had filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of forcibly unionized home care workers in that state, published an editorial questioning the validity of the lawsuit and inviting the organization to “close up shop in Salem and go home.”
In response, Pam Harris – lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn ruling on which the suit is based – fired back at the paper, applauding the Freedom Foundation’s efforts.
Her comments are reprinted below:
First, there are real Oregonians involved, including the lawsuit’s plaintiff, Julian Brown. It is important to know that organizations like the Freedom Foundation and the National Right to Work Foundation are examples of the few legal resources that ordinary citizens like Mr. Brown and the plaintiffs of Harris v Quinn have to seek justice. The unions are rich, powerful and adept at suppressing anyone who chooses to rebuke their compulsory fees.
Second, you do not provide your readers with a clear understanding of the differences between public and private sector unions. Many people still do not understand the differences and associate all unions with benefits and protections sought by Norma Rae. Public sector unions enter into contracts with elected officials obligating the states to deliver public tax dollars to union coffers. Contracts do more to protect union funding than protect workers. Furthermore, these contracts drain our economy; and states, like my state of Illinois, are in dire straits. There is also the unhealthy relationship between Democratic politicians and the unions who fund their candidacies. Politicians who receive union contributions are negotiating the contracts. How can this be in the best interests of the citizens?
Additionally, home care workers work for the individual who is disabled or elderly in their own home. Home care workers do not work for the state and many believe the union is an unnecessary intrusion. Taking public dollars intended to provide care for the disabled and elderly, and giving it to the unions, is reprehensible.
Third, in Harris v Quinn the Supreme Court’s Justice Alito could not have been any clearer:
” … except perhaps in the rarest of circumstances, no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.”
Lead Plaintiff in Harris v Quinn